love your neighbor…

… and eat their food.

IMG_3082 DSC03399Cassava, the bakery and cafe right next door to our church in Balboa St. in the Outer Richmond, expanded, allowing more diners to experience their coveted Friday and Saturday night pre-fix dinner menu. Kris (the chef) and his wife Yuka are a hard-working, friendly, and adorable couple. They, and their team, create beautiful and delicious food in a comfortable, welcoming space. Kris’ dishes are clearly Indian and Mediterranean inspired, but with the subtlety and delicacy of Japanese cuisine. Actually, the meal reminded Sam and I of our experience with traditional Basque food in Bilbao, Spain. If you happen to be in the Outer Richmond, consider stopping by Cassava and consider helping create an outdoor patio through their kickstarter campaign. I’m looking forward to sitting in the outdoor patio, sipping Ritual coffee, eating curry puffs, and catching up with old and new friends.

DSC03206DSC03209A few blocks down on Balboa, is an entirely different, but still very delicious neighbor, Shanghai Dumpling King. I wrote about SDK and their XLBs briefly before and lamented their closed doors in the Outer Richmond, to find they recently re-opened without any explanation. I’ve been to SDK several times now, but this was my first time trying the spicy pork and chive dumplings and their pan-fried pork dumplings. They were both amazing. But, it was dessert that changed that my life. DSC03216Meet the sugar egg puff. These airy lightly sweet deep-fried mounds of heaven are a donut-cream-puff hybrid, but way airier. And, the center has a light custardy-center, but it’s not liquid (not quite solid) and it’s not thick. I can’t quite explain it, but you must try it. I’ve been told they are only served on weekends (maybe at dinner by request), but only good when freshly fried. And, I don’t think it would be productive to call and ask… as the above link demonstrates. But, the no-nonsense of it all, makes Shanghai Dumpling King all the more loveable.

DSC03407So If you happen to be in the Outer Richmond on Balboa, eat well and get to know your neighbors. I’d be happy to tag along.

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